As the NCAA season progresses, I’m going to publish weekly rankings in conjunction with the USCHO poll. These rankings will be entirely statistics based with the explanation as to how those stats are developed here. As I prefer to do when compiling rankings, a team’s final ranking will be determined by a summation of their rankings in various statistical categories:
- Overall winning percentage (pct)
- Goal differential (+/-)
- Percentage of shots taken (S%) – (Editor’s Note – This is essentially the best imitator of Corsi %. I’m told that shot attempts (Shots on goal plus missed shots plus shots taken that get blocked) are recorded but that data is not available anywhere.)
- Percentage of shots taken relative to Opponents’ S% (Rel S%)
- Power play and penalty kill percentage – NEW DATA
- S% versus teams with an S% of 50% or more
- Rel S% versus teams with an S% of 50 or more
- Shooting Percentage (Sht%)
- Save Percentage (Sv%)
I have finally decided to do the extra work so we can include special teams figures. Also I have taken to making all of my spreadsheets available for download here.
I’m not sure why the reaction to Princeton is so delayed. It’s not that Harvard and Colgate are bad teams, I just think that Princeton has shown more at this point in time. Plus the Tigers beat the Crimson a few weeks ago.
The PairWise ranking is important because the NCAA tournament field’s at-large bids (**) are generally populated by the highest ranked teams that didn’t secure an auto-bid by winning their conference tournament (* – current leaders). A breakdown of how the ranking is determined can be found here.
I’ve added the previous weekend’s results along with each team’s movement from the previous week. Again, eight teams make the NCAA Tournament so let’s run down the top eight:
1. Wisconsin (1)
The Badgers have WCHA opponents the entire rest of the way, playing each team twice. They’ll have Minnesota-Duluth, North Dakota, St. Cloud State, and Minnesota State at home and Bemidji State, Ohio State, and Minnesota on the road.
2. Boston College (2)
The Eagles get Boston University on the road right out of the gate, and then a non-conference game at Harvard January 19th which is a good warmup for their Beanpot matchup against the Crimson two weeks later.
3. Quinnipiac (3)
The Bobcats finished off a sweep of Brown and Yale. That’s not the strongest weekend in terms of opponents (6-20-1), and next weekend will be even lighter as RPI and Union are a combined 5-24-8.
4. Minnesota (4)
Like Wisconsin, Minnesota has each WCHA opponent twice in the second half of the season. They might be playing for the number one seed in their last series when they host the Badgers twice.
5. Clarkson (5)
The Golden Knights are probably among the more eager teams to get back into action. Their 15-3-2 record is nothing to scoff at, but their 3-3-2 ECAC mark can only be described as disappointing.
6. Northeastern (6)
Northeastern is also probably eager to hit the ice as much as possible. The only reason they sit in third and not second in Hockey East is because Boston University has played two more games. At 10-2-0 to the Terriers’ 10-3-1, the Huskies have the inside track to the number two seed.
7. North Dakota (7)
North Dakota has to feel a little miffed. They sit just ninth in the PairWise Rankings despite beating both Minnesota and Wisconsin this season. They need to beef up their record if they hope to make the NCAA tournament.
8. Princeton (9)
The Tigers seem to be flying under the radar this season even though they’ve looked pretty good for a while. They’ve reeled off eight straight wins including a 2-1 defeat of nationally ranked Harvard.
The Best of the Rest
The Colonials sit at an impressive 12-6-4. If they can find success against Mercyhurst and Syracuse the CHA crown, and their first tournament birth, are there for the taking.